The Penny

Don’t lick that penny, Little Johnny, she says
That penny has been through too many hands
Hands are dirty, dirty things indeed
They also touch way too many things
They scratch itches
Dig ditches
And move things about
Some people even put their hands in their mouth

That penny you hold in your little hand
Was once played with by a lad
‘Twas taller than you stand
He flipped that coin and tossed it about
After he’d scratched his bum
Before he’d picked his snout

He lost that little penny, you see
To another lad much older than he
This lad badly wanted that penny to match
To another that he’d had tucked in his hat

Both pennies, dear see
Were meant for his loafers
A pair of Penny’s that he’d just gotten from his mother

He fit those pennies into his shoes
That on the bottom
Soon became covered in street goo
Spit, blood, gum and disease
The debris of which caused poor Lincoln to sneeze

When his loafers were all torn about
The careless lad just tossed them right out
These two pennies ended up in the trash
Where a hobo searched them out to add to his stash
Lucky me, lucky me, he thought to himself
Though he knew that the pennies belonged to that snot nosed whelp
Who pushed and teased and mocked him about
So bad that he wanted to punch a child in the snout

It was his lucky day, he thought with glee
While he held his small ding-a-ling for a pee
He shook with one hand and wiped with the other
Tucked and zipped
Then rubbed the pennies against one another

One of those pennies, my love, Johnny dear
Was used in a magic trick that Ole Pap did with your ear
He twist and turned and flipped it about
And made you believe it had come from the round,
The roundest part of your lobe, do you see
And you yelled and jumped and you were so
Happy!
Never knowing that penny had been all about
In alleys, in shoes
Near bum dongs and boy snouts

-Angel Berry

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